World number three Daniil Medvedev produced a dominant performance against German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann to reach his first Italian Open semi-final, cruising to a 6-2 6-2 victory on Thursday.
Medvedev, who has described himself as a “hard court specialist”, had never won a match in Rome before this year’s tournament but has produced some of his best tennis to reach the last four on clay for the first time since Monte Carlo in 2019.
“I am feeling great,” Medvedev said. “I said before the tournament I was feeling really great in practice. “It is always a danger to say this if you lose the first round and you think, ‘Why did I say this’. But I am proving it.”
Medvedev soaked up Hanfmann’s powerful hitting and controlled the baseline exchanges, dominating with his big first serve to wrap up the win in an hour and 20 minutes.
“He was struggling more than me and I am happy with the win and being in the semis,” Medvedev said of Hanfmann, who upset Monte Carlo champion Andrey Rublev and ninth seed Taylor Fritz to reach the last eight.
“I knew I had to put as many balls into the court as possible because he plays aggressively. Maybe he didn’t play his best match but that is how it works… I am happy I could neutralise his attacking style.”
Medvedev will meet world number five Stefanos Tsitsipas who triumphed over Borna Coric with a commanding 6-3, 6-4 win later in the evening.
“He’s been playing well and I’m playing [well] also,” Tsitsipas said on court on the upcoming clash against Medvedev. “I feel good on court, regardless if it’s a night session or a day session and I really hope to bring the best out of me against him.
“I feel like he’s playing better than the years before.”